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China Q2 GDP growth may dip under 8 pct

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BEIJING, July 11 (Xinhua) -- Analysts have predicted that upcoming data will show China's economic growth fell under 8 percent in the second quarter of this year, due to gloomy markets both at home and abroad.

Lu Zhengwei, chief economist with the Industrial Bank, forecast that gross domestic product (GDP) growth will ease to 7.8 percent in the second quarter, while industrial output will grow around 9.8 percent.

The National Bureau of Statistics is scheduled to publish key monthly and quarterly economic indicators on Friday, which include GDP, industrial output, fixed-assets investment and retail sales.

These indicators are likely to fall further, indicated by a weakening purchase management index (PMI), which measures manufacturing activity, said Wang Tianlong, a researcher at think tank the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.

Official survey results released earlier this month showed that PMI growth dropped to a seven-month low of 50.2 percent in June, slightly higher than the boom-or-bust level of 50 percent.

The central bank's move to cut benchmark interest rates twice in one month also indicated worse-than-expected data, Wang said, noting that the odds of GDP growth falling under 8 percent are high.

According to a recent report from the the Standard Chartered Bank, the country's growth will slump further in the second quarter, and interest cuts have showed the government's rising concerns over the slowing economy.

First-quarter GDP growth slowed to a near-three-year low of 8.1 percent in the world's second-largest economy, dragged down by self-geared tightening efforts to cool inflation and a lackluster global market.

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